Indiana’s religious freedom law just got a very powerful new enemy: the “Governator” himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The former California Governor – an outspoken Republican – expressed his anger and disappointment over what he sees as his party’s discriminatory agenda in an op-ed for the Washington Post.
“I’m incredibly concerned about what happened in Indiana this week and the threat of similar laws being passed in other states,” he wrote, adding, “As a Republican, I’m furious.”
Schwarzenegger is referring to the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act, signed into Indiana law on Thursday by Republican Governor Mike Pence.
Those who oppose the the law say it could allow businesses, landlords, and others the opportunity to deny gays, bisexuals, and transgender people services, citing religious reasons as an excuse.
“Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, spoke to all Americans earlier this week about this issue and he should be applauded,” Schwarzenegger noted. “Now I’d like to speak to some of my fellow Republicans.”
The action star goes on to slam Republicans for their failure to adhere to former President Ronald Reagan’s vision for the party, as well as their inability to capture young voters.
“Distracting, divisive laws like the one Indiana initially passed aren t just bad for the country, they re also bad for our party,” he writes.
And for any Republicans doubting the logic of his sentiment, Schwarzenegger’s message is clear.
“You’re wrong. All you have to do is look at the response to Indiana s law on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, or pretty much wherever young people congregate and discuss what is important to them.”
In addition to the feelings of young voters, the governor also cited the negative reactions of major cooperations as further proof of the bill’s backwards social agenda.
“Nor are they supported by big business, as evidenced by NASCAR, the NBA and Wal-Mart s public, vocal opposition,” he wrote.
Despite his concern, Schwarzenegger says he is encouraged by Indiana lawmaker’s promise to emend the law on Thursday – as well as Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson’s decision to veto a similar law on Wednesday.
Schwarzenegger wrote, “We must be the party that stands for equality and against discrimination in any form. We must be the party that originally attracted this young Austrian immigrant.”